Year : 2021 | Volume
: 19 | Issue : 1 | Page : 1-
President, IAPHD, India
|How to cite this article:|
Pushpanjali K. President's Message.J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2021;19:1-1
|How to cite this URL:|
Pushpanjali K. President's Message. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Apr 13 ];19:1-1
Available from: https://www.jiaphd.org/text.asp?2021/19/1/1/312643
“Learning Together to Work Together for Better Health” – WHO on Interprofessional Education.
It is with immense pleasure and pride that I am writing this message for the readers. In the days to come, we will all have to focus on evolving in our roles as public health dentists. I thought of giving some insights into certain concepts and areas that are essential for our readers that might help review their plan of action for the present and future. This message also bears reference to one specific concept the National Education Policy 2020, has constantly emphasized, i.e., the multidisciplinary education. Interprofessional education and collaborative practice was the objective of interest in all the health workforce training and public health-related webinars, particularly in the post-COVID era.
Health-care team refers to all people engaged in actions whose primary intent is to enhance health. Included in this definition are those who promote and preserve health, those who diagnose and treat disease, health management and support workers, and professionals with discrete/unique areas of competence, whether regulated or nonregulated, conventional or complementary. The irony is despite the health-care team comprising such a wide variety of personnel, a unified team training approach is rarely, if ever, prioritized. The underlying primary contributing factor for the absence of “team approach” is the fragmented/discipline prioritized strategy inbuilt into the education system. As public health dentists, we have a significant role to play in “team approach” to holistic health and well-being.
Since the 1970s, efforts are on to prioritize interprofessional education. The concept is to bring together two or more professions to learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes. This learning should culminate in health-care professionals who are ready for collaborative practice. There is such a beautiful message in the definition of collaborative practice: “Collaborative practice in health-care occurs when multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds provide comprehensive services by working with patients, their families, carers, and communities to deliver the highest quality of care across settings.”
Public health dentists should take up the lead role to advocate for interprofessional collaboration at their workplace and inculcate the same to the next generation of students who are currently in training. We should initiate processes to explore the possibilities of identifying the local health needs and relevant health-care workforce to address the needs. In collaboration with health professional education specialists, we should design and develop educational opportunities that focus on collaborative practice of learning.
The “developed countries” have woken up to realize the acute shortage of health-care workforce, particularly in handling the COVID pandemic. The underdeveloped countries struggled but managed with their traditional health workers. In India, we realized the importance of the “public health moment.” Now is a good time for all of us to prioritize and strengthen our skills in interprofessional collaborative practice. It can “redefine” our identity and help us integrate with the health-care team. We can thus, contribute significantly to improve the health outcomes.